Perhaps the most obvious trend is that the show is busier again than last year. This show is now 'the' show for quality audio gear for the world. Okay compared with the likes of the CES in Vegas this show is tiny but the CES encompasses an enormous range of products of which quality stereo equipment is a tiny fraction.
The second trend is that there is next to no AV gear here. I know its a 'High End' show and that implies 2 channel but there is nothing stopping exhibitors from showing off some multi channel equipment and I have seen almost zilch.
Third trend is - more retro re stylings. The L100 JBL being one of the most successful according to my ears. I walked from Magico next door to Harmon and I know what I would prefer in my home. Especially with the orange grilles! They made normal music sound well like music, played by a band. So many manufacturers still play whispy pretend music that frankly could sound good on any decent system. JBL played normalish recordings and the bass had some welly and fun to it (but still rather athletic) and the mid and top was surprisingly uncoloured and pleasant to listen to. other examples of retro exist in the few extra open reel machines spotted and some turntables made from wood to varying degrees.
The other obvious trend was incredibly tall loudspeakers. I mean so tall I doubt they would fit in my house. approx 2 metres tall or more. Definitely separating the haves and have nots in the ceiling height stakes.
Some pictures for examples.
Back with more observations tomorrow..